The OTD program at Hanover College believes that students are occupational beings that come to the College with prior knowledge and experiences that shape their views and serve as a foundation for further growth (AOTA, 2018). The OTD faculty believe that to become competent, evidence-based, and culturally sensitive practitioners, students must participate in significant learning experiences that transform them into effective occupational therapists (Fink, 2013; Mezirow, 1997). By engaging in active learning experiences in and beyond the classroom, students integrate academic knowledge, clinical reasoning, and self-reflection (AOTA, 2018; Schaber, 2014). These significant learning experiences transform the student’s understanding of how occupations are an integral therapeutic tool in the overall health and wellness of people, groups, and populations (AOTA, 2018; AOTA, 2020). The OTD faculty believe that active engagement in various practice and community settings supports a continual understanding of occupation as a therapeutic tool, professional development, leadership opportunities, and advocacy for individuals, communities, populations, and the profession.
The culminating capstone project and doctoral capstone experience support the student’s integration and understanding of theory with practice and scholarship. The culminating capstone experience provides the student an understanding of the connections between philosophical, theoretical, and practical knowledge that emphasizes the values, beliefs, ethics, and expansive application of occupations to improve health, participation, and quality of life (AOTA, 2018; AOTA, 2020). Thereby, igniting evidence-based critical inquiry, lifelong learning, and professional judgment; resulting in a collaborative occupational therapist who is respectful, equitable, inclusive, and accepting of others and their backgrounds.
Hybrid, Accelerated, Interactive
Online: Students will engage in online learning throughout the program. The faculty cultivates an active student-centered learning environment. The skills and knowledge are taught in a logical, sequenced progression from foundational to clinical to evidence-based practice. Students learn knowledge and skills theoretically, before putting them into practice.
Lab Immersion: Onsite laboratory immersion sessions comprise approximately 20% (or 21 credits) of the curriculum and reflect the importance of hands-on skill acquisition for the occupational therapy student. Throughout the program, lab time is consolidated into a series of on ground lab immersion sessions scheduled during each academic semester to facilitate student travel. These lab immersion sessions range in duration from 3 to 10 days. This face-to-face time with faculty is focused on the development of the student’s communication, problem solving, clinical reasoning, and psychomotor skills required for effective client and occupational therapy practice management.
Fieldwork: The Hanover College OTD Program’s Fieldwork Education provides students with the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes associated with the practice of occupational therapy and client care. Students participate in three Level I Fieldwork Experiential Labs (20 hours each) and two Level II Fieldwork experiences (12 weeks of supervised client care). The expectations of Fieldwork are that the students gain clinical experience in a variety of practice settings serving clients across the lifespan (ACOTE, 2022).
Capstone: The doctoral capstone consists of both the capstone experience and the capstone project. The 14-week, full time capstone experience is in the sixth and final program semester. The doctoral capstone creates and enhances the student’s professional skills and abilities allowing them to acquire in-depth knowledge in the chosen area of interest with guidance from a faculty and site mentor.
Hanover College’s hybrid, accelerated program provides the opportunity to obtain a doctoral education in occupational therapy in just two years. A hybrid-accelerated model is not for everyone. The time commitment for this accelerated program will be equivalent to a full-time job. To be successful, students must commit fully to the program. Students who choose outside employment while enrolled will run a risk of falling behind. Employment while enrolled is not advised.
Upon completion of the OTD Program, graduates will demonstrate the ability to:
Incorporate an ecological perspective of health across the lifespan by developing and implementing theoretically sound, evidence-based occupational therapy practice and programs (Pursuit of Academic Excellence, Community Responsibility)
Implement best practices that optimize client outcomes through the integration of critical thinking skills that support sound clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities (Pursuit of Academic Excellence)
Embrace and commit to the ethical standards, values, and attitudes of the profession through the use of ethical reasoning (Accountability)
Advocate for the diverse occupational needs of people, communities, and populations to promote participation in meaningful and valued occupations across environments (Community Responsibility)
Ensure client care incorporates an interprofessional, collaborative perspective (Respect for One Another, Community Responsibility)
Use occupation-based assessments and implement occupation-based interventions supporting participation across environments for people, communities, and populations (Pursuit of Excellence, Accountability)
Advance the roles of occupational therapy through effective leadership and advocacy (Pursuit of Excellence, Accountability)
Demonstrate a commitment to professional growth and scholarly practice through lifelong learning and critical inquiry (Pursuit of Excellence).
The entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program graduation rate is the percentage of students who are in good academic and professional standing, have had satisfactory progress in all semesters of the academic program, and satisfactorily complete the following:
Successfully complete the required 105 semester credit hours of academic, fieldwork education, and doctoral capstone course work.
Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above.
Achieve a letter grade of “C” (70%) or better in all academic courses.
Achieve entry-level competence as an occupational therapist, as demonstrated on the Fieldwork Performance Evaluation (FWPE) and Occupational Therapy Knowledge Evaluation (OTKE).
Exhibit professional behaviors consistent with clinical practice as described in the Professional Behaviors and the AOTA Code of Ethics for the Occupational Therapist (2020) within the OTD Student Handbook.
The total number of graduates and graduation rates are found on the following chart.
Students Entering Program
NBCOT Exam Pass Rate
Graduates of the Hanover College OTD Program are eligible to take the certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).